From an Early Age

Carrie Jenkins

From an Early Age

It was the classroom assignment all of us have had to complete at one time or another.

Write about what you want to be when you grow up.

“Someday I would like to be a vet,” the first grader wrote. “I would also like to be the president of the USA so I could stop poachers from killing animals.”

Dr. Carrie Jenkins still has that assignment, which her teacher wrote “High aspirations, Carrie! You’ll be a success!” She may not have yet achieved her goal of becoming president but she’s got the veterinarian gig down pat.

After graduating from Iowa State, Jenkins relocated to the Atlanta area where she worked at a Banfield Pet Hospital. She served as the hospital’s chief of staff before she decided she would prefer to treat patients rather than be an administrator.

Jenkins left Banfield after eight years to join another Georgia practice. Then right before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, she started thinking about returning to her native Omaha.

Attending the VMX meeting in Orlando in January 2020, she went into the exhibit hall and checked out the Thrive Affordable Vet Care booth.

“When the pandemic hit and we didn’t know how bad things were going to get, I decided it was time to move home and be with family,” Jenkins said.

She was hired by Thrive, sold her Atlanta house and moved back to Omaha in April 2020.

“It was definitely a stressful time to be moving and starting a new job but it all worked out,” she said. “Thrive has been far and away the most ‘family friendly’ practice I have worked at, which is especially important at this time in my son’s life as a single parent.”

At Thrive, Jenkins practices small animal medicine with an interest in soft tissue surgery.

“It is extremely rewarding to remove a foreign body, remove bladder stones, take off a huge mass or close a huge laceration and see the immediate benefit to the animal,” she said. 

More than anything, Jenkins seeks to practice medicine that results in an improved quality of life for the animal.

One example she cites occurred early in her career when she did her first bilateral inguinal hernia repair on a Chihuahua. The dog’s pregnant uterus (with a dead fetus) was herniated on one side and her bladder was herniated on the other.

“The client couldn’t afford to go to a surgeon so I told her I would try but I couldn’t guarantee success,” Jenkins said. “The surgery went well and was actually really fun, and the dog did great.

“There have been many cases like this over the years, and these are what keep me going on the hard days.”